Questions For An Author—Over 50 Engaging Questions To Ask Today

Preparation is key when it comes to a great interview. At the same time, it’s important to avoid rigidity. Preparation is important, but so too is spontaneity.

In this article, you’ll find a list of over 50 questions for an author. Whether you’re an author or an interviewer, it will be helpful to read through and consider each of these questions. 

Interviewing an author

When authors create a story or a compelling nonfiction piece, they impact their readers. 

These days, even new writers can quickly get their name out there and cultivate an engaged audience.

Author interviewers take the role of middlemen, asking authors the questions for which fans want answers. 

Interviewing an author and delivering that desired information to their fans and even those who haven’t heard of them helps interviewers connect fans to authors in a way that can work wonders for their reputation.

Why should authors attend interviews?

Interviews may be an untapped resource for your marketing efforts if you’re an author. 

Author interviews are a great way to promote your latest book, get your name out there, and establish yourself in the industry.

More and more authors today are taking the reins when it comes to publishing and marketing their work. Traditional publishing is still a popular means of getting your work out there, but self-publishing is seeing a drastic rise.

Promoting your work can be challenging. There are many ways to do it – social media, ads, limited offers, etc., but keeping up with the marketing can be laborious. 

Such is why many authors opt for interviews, whereby an interviewer will gather exciting and vital information about an author and share it with the public.

So, if you want to establish yourself as a writer, promote your latest work, or catch the public eye, interviews are the way to go.

Below, we’ve included a list of over 50 questions interviewers commonly ask writers.

Read through and prepare answers to the questions. Think about the answers or write them down, but at the very least, give them some consideration. 

You may very well have a great answer to a question, but if that question catches you by surprise, you may miss out on the opportunity to share something insightful.

Questions For An Author

Questions for an author

Authors get asked the same question so often that it’s wise to ask these questions with genuine interest and your own unique spin.

Instead of mindlessly listing off questions from a sheet of paper, offer your perspective or insight on a question first, or a shared perspective or viewpoint from the public, then hand the question over to the author.

Interview questions about the writing process

Readers will be thrilled to know what jumpstarted the author’s interest in writing, what his or her inspirations are, or the challenges he has encountered. Sharing information by answering the following questions helps their readers learn more about the person behind the book.

  • When did you know you could have a successful writing career?
  • Which authors or artists inspired you to start writing? Have those sources of inspiration changed over the years? 
  • Many writers experience writer’s block. Does that ever happen to you? And how do you approach it?
  • Do you have any advice for aspiring writers regarding writer’s block?
  • Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
  • If you didn’t write, what would you do?
  • Do you have any advice for new writers trying to find their way in the industry?
  • What makes a great story?
  • You mainly write [genre]; do you read other genres?
  • In what order do you create a story? Plot first, or characters? Do you begin at the beginning?
  • What are the main challenges you face in writing characters?
  • What’s your most interesting writing quirk? What do you think sets you apart from other writers?
  • How do you feel about your writing? Do you believe you are your own worst critic?
  • How many hours do you spend per day writing?
  • How many plot ideas do you consider before deciding on one to follow?

Interview questions about a specific book

Authors can take this opportunity to reel in their readers and drum up interest in the book they are promoting. Here are some questions the author may be expected to answer:

  • Can you tell us something about the book that we can’t read in the blurb?
  • Can you describe your writing process for the book?
  • How much time did you spend writing this book?
  • What were your sources of inspiration for the book?
  • Do you have a favorite character from the book?
  • Are any of the characters based on real people or people you know?
  • Can you tell us more about the title? How did you come up with it? What is its significance?
  • Was the process of writing this book different from that of your other books?
  • If there were a screen adaptation of the book, which actors would you like to play each character?
  • [Character name] is a fan favorite. Can you describe the process of creating them?
  • Were there any challenges in writing this book? What were they?
  • What, in your opinion, is the key to literary success?
  • Does writing energize you, or does it exhaust you? Do you take long breaks between projects?

Interview questions about reading

The readers will be delighted to know that before the authors became writers, they were also like their readers. Let them take a peek into the author’s preferences or perhaps their influences:

  • Do you have a favorite famous author? Who are they, and why do you like them?
  • Did you read a lot when you were a child?
  • What’s the last book you read?
  • What are you reading now?
  • Do you have any books you like to re-read?
  • Which authors have inspired you the most?
  • Do you see the influence of your favorite authors in your work?
  • What’s your favorite line or quote from a book?
  • If you could interview any author, living or dead, who would it be and why?
  • How do you feel about audiobooks?
  • Do you prefer to read print or digital?

Interview questions about the future

Answering questions about future plans excite the readers of their subsequent work and gives them something to look forward to:

  • Are you currently working on anything?
  • Can readers expect to read more about [character/setting/world]?
  • What inspires you these days?
  • Do you have many stories in the pipeline?
  • How do you choose what to write next?
  • Where do you see yourself and your work in the next five to ten years?

Interview questions about publishing

These questions may provide them an insight into how the author got started in publishing their work:

  • What are your thoughts on the publishing industry? Do you think it’s easier or harder for authors to publish nowadays?
  • Have you ever self-published?
  • Do you like self-publishing, or do you prefer to take the traditional publishing route?
  • What’s your favorite part about the publishing journey? What’s your least favorite part?
  • How do you feel about promotion and marketing? Do you like to take the reins or hand over marketing to a third party?

Ask about how to start writing

How to prepare for an interview

The best interviews are a combination of preparation and spontaneity. 

Preparation helps both interviewers and authors feel confident in the interview because they both have an idea of the questions to come.

Spontaneity helps us connect the author and interviewer on an authentic, human level, transcending their roles and creating space for connection. 

Spontaneity can also lead to humor and deep insight, which significantly improves the quality of the interview.

How to prepare for an interview (for authors)

If you’re an author, the best way to prepare for an interview is to give serious consideration to the question we’ve included above.

The above list is not extensive, and different interviewers may have other questions to ask you, but having something ready for the above questions will help you significantly.

Search for interviews online with some of your favorite authors or interviewers. Watching other interviews will help you understand the dynamic you can expect in the room.

Finally (and this one you may already have prepared), write about yourself and your work. 

Get to know about your sources of inspiration and consider why they’ve had such a significant impact on you.

Consider why you started writing in the first place and what challenges you face. 

How do you feel about your career as a writer? How do you feel about other authors? 

Understand your thoughts and feelings about such topics so that you’ll know where you stand when the time comes for an actual interview.

Key points:

  • Consider the questions above
  • Watch or read interviews
  • Get to know yourself and your work through reflection and journaling

How to prepare for an interview (for interviewers)

If you’re an interviewer, needless to say, you should have some questions at the ready.

If you’re stuck, take some or all of the questions we’ve included in this article, and feel free to alter them as you see fit.

In addition to having general questions, it’s essential to learn a little about the author’s background before the interviewer begins. 

You may have personal questions that will educate you in that regard during the interview, but knowing a little basic information will help you springboard into an engaged and fruitful conversation.

Ask more open-ended questions than closed questions. Open-ended questions don’t have a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. 

Instead of keeping things black and white, such questions allow the author to elaborate and let fans in on their more personal thoughts and viewpoints about a topic.

Finally, allow for spontaneity. 

Open-ended questions allow for unexpected and even off-the-cuff answers. If you and the author are having an engaged conversation, don’t cut it short to stick to the script. 

Ask all the important questions but allow for authenticity and spontaneity at the moment.

Key points:

  • Prepare a list of questions (prioritize them)
  • Learn about the author’s background before the interview
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Allow for spontaneity (but still ask the essential questions)


It’s worth every writer’s time to attend interviews and share their work and background with the public. 

Don’t worry if you don’t have anyone to interview you. You can conduct a self-interview and publish it on a blog site or your social media channels.

Consider asking your readers to submit questions in the comments and select questions to answer. 

You can write your answers, but creating a vlog in which you answer those questions may be more engaging and thus more effective.

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